Getting caught in the net: examining the recruitment of Canadian players in British professional ice hockey

2014-10-06T14:10:51Z (GMT) by Richard Elliott Joseph Maguire
This article is a study of global athletic labor migration that examines the mechanisms through which some athletic migrant workers are recruited. The article adopts a critical case study which analyses the movement of Canadian workers into Britain’s Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) and synthesizes concepts derived from the sociology of sport and the sociology of highly skilled migration to explain these movements. Using a theoretical framework based on a figurational or process sociological approach, the article shows that the recruitment of migrant workers to EIHL teams need not be facilitated by a formal mediator such as an agent. Instead, informal communicative “friends-of-friends” networks and “bridgehead” contacts more commonly facilitate flows of information to the potential employer and potential migrant employee. Accordingly, mutually beneficial recruitments can be seen to be occurring as the result of human mediation facilitated by a series of informal interdependent networks of social relationships.